Any time you hear someone say they’ve got the hottest new “hack”, they’re talking tactics. There’s nothing inherently bad about tactics. In fact, you need to use them in order to accomplish your goals.
But just lumping a bunch of tactics together probably isn’t going to get you want. Looking at tactics is looking at a small part of a picture, zoomed in all the way. You can see great details, but it’s impossible to see the whole picture.
Strategy is zooming out to see a larger part of the big picture. You use strategy as a wider-scale approach to accomplishing an objective.
The objective is the overall goal you want to achieve.
Put another way, the Objective is the whole picture; the Strategy is the picture divided into smaller parts; Tactics are the magnified close-ups.
Objective → strategy → tactics
Here are two examples to show you how this might work in real life:
Objective: Have $1 million dollars [you can pause and raise your pinky now, if you want]
Strategy: Make money
Tactics: get a job, buy lottery tickets, rob banks
Once you have your objective (what you want), you’ll have to choose your strategy (your broad plan or plans how), which will lead you to your tactics (the small, direct actions you take).
To get your objective, you can use one or a few strategies, and you have a ton of choices when it comes to tactics.
Objective: Gain 20 lbs. of muscle
Strategy: Lift weights, eat at a calorie surplus
Tactics: barbell training 3 days per week, eat 3000 calories a day, take steroids
I’m not recommending you take steroids. Just using it as one example of a tactic a person could use in an attempt to achieve a goal. You want to think about all three levels in the hierarchy before taking action.
For any given Objective, let’s understand that there is more than one Strategy to accomplish it. In fact, you’d probably do well to implement more than one. You don’t need a million, by the way, just a couple. Similarly, within any Strategy, there are countless Tactics you can use. Remain flexible in your approach when choosing Strategies. Be particularly flexible in adding, implementing, and switching Tactics.
Your objective is the most important thing. The strategy is the next important thing because it will dictate which tactics you employ.
If you don’t decide on a strategy before you choose your tactics, basically, you’re just guessing. By choosing your strategy first, you’ll more easily be able to tell which tactics make sense for you and which don’t.
Here’s where we get to the fitness “hacks”. Maybe a new workout plan or new diet or new exercise device fits into your strategy. But maybe it doesn’t. Know your strategy and you’ll have the answer.
Objective: What’s the one big thing you’re after?
Strategy: What’s your wider-scale plan to make that happen?
Tactics: What are the steps in that plan?
Thanks for reading. I hope this helps. Any questions or comments, leave ‘em below.